Sunday, November 1, 2009

ups, downs, highs, and lows; or my boring life.

returning home from adventuring was hard, but going back to school has turned out to be even more difficult. studying, writing papers, and working have taken over most of my "free time" making the little time i have left for other activities quite precious. the school year is going well so far, it has just been difficult getting use to being in university after time off. as i sit down to write a paper, or as i begin to study for upcoming exams, i can always think of about a million places i would rather be and a billion things i would rather be doing. but now is not the time for those other things, now is the time for school. so, each morning i wake up with the rising sun and hop on my bicycle to ride to campus (unless it is raining, which it seems like it has been every day for the last three weeks...)
even though i spend all my free time doing less than freeing things and am not super thrilled yet about school, i do quite enjoy my job. this is my third year working for holiday decor hanging christmas lights, and i must say this year has been the most fun so far. i just love running around on roofs and being outside, even if the weather is rather crummy. it is nice. it gets me moving and rejuvenates my body and mind.
so, despite all the studying and working i have been doing, it is not all bad. it has been rainy, but the rain just makes the sunshine all the brighter and the autumn leaves more brilliant.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

westward. with my foot on the pedal.

i am packing my bags for colorado. it feels so good to know i will be heading west again, even though colorado feels so close. after driving to california several times, colorado seems no distance at all.
i am looking forward to being in the mountains one last time before winter. it will be nice to visit with my friends and my uncle. i am also going to go to moab to visit and get my climbing on. it should be nice.
it is hard to not just drive to the sierra's. once i am in moab, they seem no distance at all. but that is not for this trip. another time.
so, off i go. westward once again. where my heart rests.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

sometimes i wish i could have a book filled with my favorite things and moments i love. i don't want it to be an ordinary book, filled with photos, writing, and scraps i find here or there, i want it to be like watching an old 8mm film on a projection screen or like a hologram. i want it to show the moment so each time i look through the book i can relive the memory. it would be filled with all sorts of moments, from extremely simple things like the phone message my nine year old nephew left me about the fungus my peach tree has "Hi Aunt Chels, I just wanted to warn you that if the peach scab gets to bad that your peach tree could die." to things like a robin landing next to another robin on a tree branch and giving it a worm. or the way my dog looks at me when i get home, with a content face and a slowly waging tail. some pages would open and have dialogue and sound, like my nephew talking or the sound the rain makes on the roof of my shed. other pages would have short film clips, like of my uncle playing the guitar or my friends sitting around a campfire together. others might have holograms, to show really simple things like birds flying or a flower growing. it would be my book and it would be extremely unique to me. it would document all the things that make me smile or make my boots lighter. it would record my life story, in a sense.
it would be beautiful.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

shooting stars and fireflies. or coming home.

sometimes it is really hard coming back to springfield. it no longer feels like home or it feels like my community of friends have spread out and disappeared. it can be a lonely place, a place where i have to fight to be something different or where i am only what people see in my appearance. sometimes missouri is the last place i want to be.
but not this time.
as karlei and i drove back into missouri, marking the last five hours of our road trip, we sang our traditional 'going home' song...
misery, misery, the worst place i'll ever beeee.
it is a lovely song that really shows how much we love our state, or returning there from adventures abroad. as we were loathing in our misery of being in missouri (not two minutes after crossing the state line) we remembered why Missouri is not such a bad place, and i began to feel better about coming home.
lightening bugs. we began to see the dark fields flash with little yellow lights. glowing. beautiful. karlei had been reading me peter pan, but now we sat in silence. listening to the weeerrrrr and tititititit of my car and the passing vehicles, the silent crickets chirping outside. and watching. straining to not miss a single flash. a single glowing bug.
smiling with content. i was ready to be home. i began to realize that the time has come for me to stay (relatively) in one place for a while. that doesn't mean i won't be leaving town every chance i get, rather that i will be content to sit in my shed (my little house) and read and go out with my old friends and build stronger connections with new friends. i am ready to go back to school. i noticed when we were in portland all the books i bought were boring latin american studies books, but, somehow, i am still really looking forward to reading them. i am looking forward to studying and taking classes that help me to learn new things and expand my horizons. it will be good.
i am feeling positive about being back this time. it is home.
when we were just an hour out of city limits, we pulled over to stare in awe at the glowing stars in the sky. it was 2am and we had been driving for too long without sleep. we had driven all night the night before and then all day. but we pulled over, cranked open my sunroof so we could sit on top of the car, and we just watched. we let the fireflies fool us into thinking they were shooting stars when they flashed in the corner of our eyes. we silently counted satellites and listened to the cicadas chirp along with the frogs. the sound of our backwater.
it was a perfect coming home song with the most wonderful view to go with it. stars and fireflies.

welcome home.

now i have been home for a week. i have been spending time with my friends that i have neglected for so long and have been trying (in my own shy manner) to make new friends and to remember all that i have learned while traveling this last year. i feel like i am where i am suppose to be, like i am just who i need to be right now. and that feels good.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

just a photo entry. documenting the good times.


goodbye yosemite.
hello gigglebox.

this entry's photos courtesy of karlei baker.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

but each new morning sunrise
is just as good as gold
and all the hope inside you
will keep you from the cold
bare your soul and let your spirit burn
out along the road to no return

-robert earl keen

dealing. please don't forget about me.

okay. go.
go to some place else.
somewhere away from here.
away from my new home. my new friends.
say goodbye to them.
say a prolonged 'au revoir' to everything.
wave goodbye to all the things you hoped to do and all the people you hoped to see again. look back once and feel a slight regret for all the seemingly lost experiences and forever gone, or never to come, memories.
look back, but keep moving forward.
don't forget that memories are always being created. a new history, a new story.
remember that yesterday will always be there and will only be as positive as you make the present. the gift of now.
it may be unfortunate and not what you expected or even necessarily wanted, but it is life. that is part of the beauty of being alive. spontaneity.
it is all a process and sometimes you may not see or expect the changes that present themselves as you round the bend, but that doesn't make it bad.
look forward to the future and be excited about the present.
live. and love.
when hiking down from half-dome, i hurt my ankle. for most people a slight ankle sprain wouldn't be that big of a deal, but it is no longer something i take lightly. or happily. for those of you who don't know, i have been dealing with an ankle injury for the last two years. it has kept me from doing so many things i love to do- not that it was a bad thing. i was also able to learn new things and grow and develop in ways i may have not had i been healthy and without injury. but it was still not the most fun. so, a month ago i started going to the physical therapist again and my ankle became 100% once more. i ran for the first time in two years and climbed without grimacing. i was able to enjoy every move i made instead of worrying if my ankle would swell and hurt. i had just over three weeks of this bliss before twisting it three and a half miles from the car. it was not a re-injury, per say, but it was not something i was feeling positive about.
because of this, karlei and i decided it wouldn't make sense to stay in yosemite and try to wait a week or two for my ankle to heal when we could be having adventures elsewhere. i was really bummed about leaving yosemite. it seemed so all-of-a-sudden.
i got really comfortable there and i felt like it was a place i could easily exist. i fit in. i just had to remember that yosemite will always be there, waiting for me. that everything happens for a reason, and the time had come to make new and different memories. sometimes it is hard to leave the comfort of one place and have the road bring change. but change is growth. and that is okay.
but "growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell" (ed abbey said that) and i don't want to be cancerous either.
i want to go home with a strong sense of identity (not that i necessarily lack an individual self, just that i don't want to be the same as i have always been - i don't want to reach a stagnant place) and maybe this is how i build that and create a stronger me.
"home" has become a slightly scary place and leaving yosemite puts me one step closer to being back there. back to the place that makes it so hard to be anything other than what i have always been. i am still learning.
i think i was so hesitant to leave because i liked the place i was at in life. i was afraid of regressing.
i don't want to forget about the places i have seen and the people i have met. i want them to know they have left an impression on me and i hope i have left some sort of impression on them too. i don't want to go easily out of their mind and become nothing more than just another face in the background of a photograph.
so, please. don't forget about me.

i am on the road again. i must keep on keepin' on.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

By the Full Moon

it has now been three nights since the full moon, since karlei and i had our great moon-lit adventure. since the trees glowed in the dim light and we watched the sun sink behind the clouds from nevada falls. three nights since the mist fell over the trees and deer walked on their hind legs.
three nights ago we hiked up half-dome.
we watched the sunset as we hiked and felt the beauty that surrounded us. from a beak setting over a waterfall, nevada falls, we watched the clouds change color and felt the vibrancy of the life all around us. of our life. of all that we were experiencing.
we began hiking again and the further up we went, the more engulfed we became in the beauty surrounding us. the setting sun placed a glow on everything that encircled us. the soft light created vibrant colors every direction we looked. we told stories of fairies and elves and the forest creatures that would hike with us, even though we are not significant. they would sense our presence long before we arrived and, in all their magnificence, they would decide we were worthy enough to be in their company. the deer would walk on their hind legs and the foxes and birds would lead us along the trail telling us stories of old. strange creatures we had never before dreamed of would come out of the depths of the woods, out of the bright green mosses and white branches and watch us as we walked past. we would be aware of them but not afraid. they were apart of the perfection and peace that surrounded the woods in which we walked. all was well.
as the sun sunk deeper into the west, the colors began to fade and the clouds began to form around us. we could feel the mist and electricity of the clouds in which we walked. the trees became shadows and all became silent. as our feet began to move slower, karlei told a story about a little boy and his mother who would collect the morning sun rays to give light to their village. the little boy with squeaky shoes.
before long we were out of the clouds and beneath the 'sky lilies' of the night. the sun was nothing more than a green tint along the western horizon and the moon a faint glow behind the clouds over the mountains. and our feet kept moving on.
we kept on keepin' on.
before long we were pulling on cables and gazing at the glory of the moon and the silhouettes of the mountains. our shadows were created by the moon and the moon was our guiding light. leading us up. we sat for hours on top of half-dome. on top of the world. thinking, enjoying, shivering, complaining about the cold, laughing.
finally we got so tired and cold that we decided to begin the decent. down. and down. with the moon shinning bright. fighting the desire to curl up on any half decent flat spot on trail to sleep. dreaming on trail. by the full moon.
as the evening became later, or morning began to arrive, the moon disappeared to give way to the rising sun. the first birds began to chirp. we were exhausted, but full of joy.
the setting sun, the full moon, and the morning birds. the beasts of the forest and the color of the trail.
a good night. by the full moon.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked.
"Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat.
"I don't know," Alice answered.
"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

for now, until further inspiration...

Friday, February 6, 2009

the piano played on

the other night sleep could not find me, or i could not find it. my body did search for sleep, but it was hiding in a far away corner, deciding to avoid eye contact. sleep finally did come to me, but only after the piano.
Feb. 03, 2009:

the light is back on now, but only a moment ago, after i turned the little lamp off for only the second time, i heard music. laying in the dark guest bedroom, i could hear something. maybe it was a train or maybe a piano.
either could be possible. i rolled over the sound in my head like one would a piece of chewing gum in their mouth. the next door neighbor is a concert pianist, but the hour is much to late for a lady like herself to be awake, let alone tracing her fingers along a grand piano. could it be a train? it is true, we can hear the train whistle blow from inside the house occasionally - but it usually would not blow so faintly.
laying in the bed next to my dreaming dog, i made the decision to hear the piano. once the decision was made, there was no turning back, the piano was playing beautifully in my head as the faint musical sound i had heard early faded from the room. my piano played.
i wish i could write poetry like my dad did. compose lyrics to my own songs. i could sing them loud and would be proud to know they were my own.
i could even shout them or change tempo, or even style as my imaginary viewers gazed on.
it would be beautiful. and it would be something i could hold onto for some time.
and the piano would play.
now the light will go off for the third time and, in the dark, sleep will find my eyes just as music finds my ears.
and the piano played on.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

runny nose blues

I have caught the runny nose blues. It is a mixture of allergies, the blues, and maybe a cold. I am denying the latter of the three and blaming the sneezing and snot on allergies, while listening to the blues brothers.
Since it is now close to mid-February... I decided to finally take down the Christmas lights today. We can no longer light up the neighborhood with Christmas cheer or give the neighbors something to complain about. Not that they have been complaining, or have even noticed (we have not actually turned on the Christmas lights since before Christmas day...)
So, I don't have a whole lot to say.
The date for departure is the 11th. Amanda, my travel buddy, decided to create a blog for our road trip. It will probably get a lot more attention than this one... We will both be writing on it and I will be posting photos. AND! There is an awesome map that will show you where we have been and another to show you where we plan on going. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

being home

since i have been home i have done a very poor job of keeping in contact with people. i have still not spoken with some of my family since i have returned from europe... let alone kept in contact with the people i found to be so fantastic while i was away.
so maybe i should revive the blog a bit?
just to make it a bit easier to keep in contact with people. my goal is still to send e-mails to each of my friends to see how they are doing, or just to say hello. but, maybe to make things a little easier, or to get the process started, i can write on here. it is no longer my "european adventure", but every day is an adventure of sorts. (not that i will write everyday, i am not that good.)
since i have been home life has slowed down quite a bit. i don't really have a routine of things i stick to every day, but i have some constants - monday night is glow bowling and a game of pool, tuesday night my brother and nephew come over... but that is pretty much all, leaving me with a lot of time. i am looking forward to starting school in august.
besides bowling, since i have been home i have also been working on the shed in my backyard. the first month i was home i worked on it tediously, now i just have a few side projects for improving and re-situating. while i was away, my mom and her fiance finished the inside of the shed - insulating and building a loft with stairs, doing a fantastic job. when i got home i painted and made shelves happen (thanks to my brother dagan) and moved in. i now live in a shed and it is fantastic. i will post photos soon... hopefully. i am really pleased with how it turned out. i have a kitchen, with an electric stove and a sink with a 2 gallon water jug for running water. the only down fall is i have to go inside the main house to use the toilet, but that is okay with me.
besides living in the shed, i have been planning... i got the taste of road trip stuck in my mouth and could not seem to get it out. so, i am heading west and north and south (but not so much east right now, unfortunately). my friend amanda and i will be going to everywhere from colorado to montana to arizona and mexico and back up to canada and california and everywhere in between. my boyfriend got an internship in california, so amanda and i will part ways there and jordan and i will travel back to the bible belt together. it will be epic, i will read a lot and find a really warm place to lay out in the sun and ignore the winter that would be happening at home.
travels with charlie.
i am excited for the thought of adventure, but i am having a hard time mentally preparing myself to leave. it is not leaving my home so much that i have trouble with, it is my dog. i just don't feel ready to leave her again, despite my desire to go. the date we have set to leave is in two weeks, and when that date approaches i will have no excuse to hold me at home. i will be off, on the road. i just started reading travels with charlie, steinbeck had the same issue - wanting to find an excuse to stay home, but finding none. the freedom of a car and only knowing you are westbound is exhilarating, i want to take this trip. but at the same time i find myself feeling sick thinking about my dog searching for me everyday only to find an empty room with an empty bed. she doesn't understand i will be home in a few months. i hate to put her through it again. but i will.
it will be my next big adventure to write about.
on the road.